“Nightscaping” is the term the Nexus team uses when explaining how to view and use our range of solar powered garden LED lights. Nikki van Coller from MARKtoe! magazine explored this concept a bit more in this article published in December 2016 and is an excellent read to get you started with “nightscaping”
Shedding light on “Nightscaping”
You’ve put a lot of time, money and energy into landscaping your garden. But when the sun goes down, does it all fall into darkness? Nightscaping is the new buzzword in gardening, and a must-do this summer!
Nightscaping – or more accurately ‘outdoor landscape lighting’ – is quite simply the layout of accent lighting to enhance your property’s night-time appeal. It generally involves dozens of low-voltage LED lights that create highlights, shadows and silhouettes to provide targeted lighting to trees, plants, pathways, patios, pools, garden features and entertainment areas.
When done right, it can provide security by lighting up driveways, entrances and walkways; it can highlight the architecture of your home and the landscaping of your garden; and finally, it can create a wonderful
ambience and turn your night-time garden into a truly magical space.
A decade ago, when conventional electricity and lighting was still the only option, garden lighting was limited to a security spotlight, possibly a pool light, and a couple of outdoor lights that got switched on for security purposes, or because you were having a braai. But with the combination of rising energy costs, load shedding and environmental
issues, more sustainable lighting options are available. In the last five years especially, there has been a huge increase in the use of low voltage fixtures, energy-saving lamps and solar power. Solar garden lights in particular have become very popular in recent years. They are eco-friendly, easy to install, safe and cost effective.
Different lighting techniques
There are a variety of techniques you can use to create different effects in your garden. Here are a few you can experiment with, until you are happy with the design you have created. Directional uplighting Here you could use spotlights, accent lights, well-lights and floodlights to highlight a specific feature in your garden. This could be
flags, a large tree, or a garden sculpture, for instance. The object is lit in one direction only and the light fixture is usually placed in or above the ground, just below the object you are highlighting. For uplighting you would use a higher lumen light. The Nexus Comet solar garden spotlight is perfect for this.
Uplighting for a 360° view
Similar to directional uplighting, the object in question is lit from below, but with the aim of highlighting it so it can be seen from any viewpoint.
Using accent lights, this technique casts interesting shadows on your landscape. Simply place light fixtures within the branches of trees, or along a wall or trellis, where the cast light falls to create unique shadows. Nexus Solar lantern LEDs work extremely well – they give off a light similar to candle light and create a wonderful ambience and
interesting shadows when hung from branches.
You could also try Nexus Solar ornamental lights – these are small, low lumen lights with colour-changing LEDs, in dragonfly, butterfly, or sunflower shapes. The manual on/off switch means you can use them only when needed for special occasions.
Spot or accent lights are placed high on walls, canopies or other structures, shining down onto specific areas of your garden. This is used for security, as well as to light up lawns, entertainment areas, decks, or flower beds you would like to show off at night.
Spread lights are low on the ground and are used to create ambience by gently highlighting parts of the garden that are low-growing – for instance flowerbeds or groundcover. Nexus Flare solar lights are ideal, as they give off a very low lumen light, and have spikes for placing in flowerbeds.
You could also try the Nexus Lunar orb solar garden lights, which have a colour-changing option that can be used to great effect.
Similar to spreadlights, path lights are low on the ground. They are used to light up pathways through the garden, or from the entertainment area to the house, for instance. The Nexus Gemini solar garden path light is ideal; these have day/night sensors and offer six hours’ burning time for six hours’ charging time.
Using spot, accent or speciality lights, you can provide safety where there are steps, railings or banisters, as well as creating a soft surround light for decks. Nexus Orion garden lights are ideal, as the head can be removed from the spike, and placed around the pool or deck. These also have a colour changing option, so you can keep a low white
light, or make them all one colour to suit the theme of your event. Wall lighting Wall lighting uses well- or accent lights to highlight structural elements of your home, including walls, retaining walls, chimneys and other elements.
Nightscaping your garden
If lighting up your night-time garden is something you want to try this summer, start by identifying the parts of your garden that you would like to highlight or light up. These could be the garden path, entertainment area or deck, and a feature or two – your rose garden, bonsai collection, or an ancient Oak tree perhaps.
Then plan on paper exactly what you would need for each area and start investigating your options. The Nexus Solar range is a great place to start, as you won’t need to include electricity into your planning, and the range is varied enough to cater to your every nightscaping need. Then simply install them and start enjoying your garden, as much at night as you do during the day!